Trump's Misdemeanors vs. Hillary's Felonies
I scoffed, silently, at that idea when my Democratic friend laid it before me a year ago. Now I am not so sure.
Here we are just a few weeks away from election day. What is everyone talking about? Two things: A secretly recorded video of Donald Trump saying louche things about women a decade ago and unsubstantiated allegations by a few women that Donald Trump made unwanted sexual advances towards them years ago.
That seems to be the provender on offer by the media. There wasn't any "locker-room talk" in the locker room of my local gym yesterday. As I was getting ready for my workout, the commentary on the always-on television was devoted entirely to the Trump "scandals." Clip of Trump. Female talking head tut-tutting to male talking head, who also tutted. The entire eight or ten minutes it took me to change into the running shorts and gym shoes were given over to rehearsing Trump's alleged torts and their likely effect on women voters. As I left the locker room, the talking heads were shaking their heads and retailing Trump's poll numbers, which looked bad, bad.
Forty-five minutes later, I returned to the locker room sweaty and aglow, and guess what? They were still at it. Different talking heads — two females and a male — but the same show: Donald Trump said lewd things about women a decade ago! And not only that, a couple of women had come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment at some point in the dim and distant past. That took us through my shower and three-quarters of the way through my changing back into my street clothes. The talking heads then devoted twenty or thirty seconds to the latest WikiLeaks email dump before getting back to Donald and the dames. What was that WikiLeaks thing about? Oh, right, that was the cache of emails that revealed Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta emailing Clinton confidante Cheryl Mills about secret emails exchanged over Clinton's homebrew server with President Obama when she was secretary of State.
Think about that. The president, using an alias, communicated over a private, non-secure server with his secretary of State.
But what about that big FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private, non-secure email server while she was secretary of State? Remember that? And do you remember Bill Clinton's cozy tête-à-tête with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on her plane in Arizona this summer? You weren't supposed to hear about that at all. The FBI tried to keep the crowds way. No photos. No cell phones. But an enterprising local reporter got the story and broke it. Fortunately, Bill and Loretta spent their time together talking about his grandchildren, not about the ongoing FBI investigation of Bill's wife. Whew! That's a relief. Because it really would not have been right for the spouse of someone under investigation by the DOJ to meet privately with the attorney general and discuss the case.
Back in July when tarmac-gate broke, I wondered in this space whether that might, just possibly, be the scandal that finally broke the camel's back and brought the Clintons' entire corrupt enterprise down. Everywhere, I noted, the saga of the Clinton Crime Family was in the news. There was the film of Clinton Cash, which detailed the Clintons' international shakedown schemes in which political favors were exchanged for hefty cash payments in the form of ludicrously large speaking fees and/or donations to the Clinton Foundation, a tax-exempt money-laundering operation devoted to benefitting the Clintons. There were the Benghazi hearings. There was the email scandal. Could even the Clintons survive this growing mountain of scandal?
I wondered. But Rush Limbaugh was right. It turns out the Clintons were merely playing us. There was an enormous flurry of activity, a cathartic purging of punditry, and then . . . nothing.
Andy McCarthy made a similar point in July. Noting how various tactics can be deployed to delay or derail criminal investigations, he outlined how tarmac-gate might well have been a deliberate strategy to "create appearance of thorough investigation, but assure no-charges outcome."
And so it was. Loretta Lynch said she would accept the recommendation of the FBI. Remember how people sat up at that? But then, surprise, surprise, James Comey, despite a mountain of evidence (which he acknowledged) of felonious behavior on Clinton's part, recommended that nothing be done ("No reasonable prosecutor," etc. etc.). And that is just what Loretta Lynch did, nothing.
So Rush was right. Once again, the public was played by the Clintons.